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Monday, October 10, 2016

h4 Against the Dutch Defense

     The other day I was playing against the Fire 4 engine in a 5-minute Blitz game. The Fire 4 Engine is a strong freeware UCI chess engine. Previously called Firebird, it has been in development since 2010. The latest engine includes fixes that increase multi-processor speed. It supports up to 64 threads, configurable hash, ponder, multiPV, analysis mode and Syzygy tablebases. Note that while it won't defeat Stockfish, Komodo or Houdini, it's rated 3209 on the CCLR 40/40 list. 
     Needless to say, I lost quickly, but while looking at the game I got to messing around with 5.h4 and discovered that in his book Starting Out: Dutch Defense Neil McDonald included the interesting move h4 against the Leningrad Dutch.  That lead me to uncover the following game between Daniel Gurevich and Torbjorn Hansen. There's a bunch of players named Gurevich: Ilya, Mikhail, Dmitry and Vladimir, but this game was won by IM Daniel Gurevich, a protege of GM Roman Dzindzichashvili. 
     Gurevich played the provocative 4.h4 against the Dutch and the complications that ensued were great, but he kept things under control despite the dizzying tactics that followed. Hansen's 28...Rf2 set a nasty trap that Gurevich avoided.

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